A FORMER soldier whose caravan was set to be taken away has been found a permanent place to live.
There was wide-spread outrage after the Observer reported on its website that Paul Wright was destined to be left homeless.
West Sussex County Council were threatening to remove the caravan Paul had been living in for 18 months in a lay-by on the A259.
But today (Monday, September 14) the day it was due to be towed, Paul was celebrating a last-minute reprieve after an armed forces charity came to his rescue.
“Charlotte Taylor from the Shine with Pride Trust said she’s sorted out a hotel for me and my dog and then they’re going to sort out permanent accommodation,” Paul said.
“I’m over the moon, it’s absolutely incredible.
“I just want to thank everybody for their support, I’ve had food parcels, dog food and lots of messages.
“I’ve been in my caravan in this lay-by for 18 months but it feels a lot longer.”
Sadly, one of Paul’s two bullmastiff dogs that had been living with him, Lotti, died on Saturday night when she was hit by a car on the A259.
But Paul has been told he and Loki will be given a permanent place to live.
“It’s going to be nice to finally be able to take a nice relaxing bath,” said Paul. “And after 18 months in a caravan the dog needs a wash too.”
Paul joined the army in 1979 and served in Northern Ireland twice in the ‘80s.
Despite back and leg injuries as well as a heart condition, he said he was told by Chichester District Council (CDC) he was a ‘non-priority’ for housing.
He was served with a removal order by the county council after ‘complaints from neighbours’. A spokesman said it had been working with CDC to find Paul a place to live.
The owner of Oasis cafe in the lay-by between Bognor and Chichester had been helping Paul out with electricity and food. Tony Barnes, an ex-serviceman himself, said: “Us ex-squaddies have to stick together. But I think the way the council treats someone who serviced Queen and country is disgusting.”
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